Only four types of individuals can deny the threat to civilization posed by the violence-supporting segment of Islam: the willfully naive, America-haters, Jew-haters and those afraid to confront evil.
Anyone else sees the contemporary reality -- the genocidal Islamic regime in Sudan; the widespread Muslim theological and emotional support for the killing of a Muslim who converts to another religion; the absence of freedom in Muslim-majority countries; the widespread support for Palestinians who randomly murder Israelis; the primitive state in which women are kept in many Muslim countries; the celebration of death; the "honor killings" of daughters; and so much else that is terrible in significant parts of the Muslim world -- knows that civilized humanity has a new evil to fight.
Just as previous generations had to fight Nazism, communism and fascism, our generation has to confront militant Islam.
And whereas there were unique aspects to those evils, there are two unique aspects to the evil emanating from the Islamic world that render this latest threat to humanity particularly difficult to overcome.
One is the number of people who believe in it. This is a new phenomenon among organized evils. Far fewer people believed in Nazism or in communism than believe in Islam generally or in authoritarian Islam specifically.
There are one billion Muslims in the world. If just 10 percent believe in the Islam of Hamas, the Taliban, the Sudanese regime, Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, bin Ladin, Islamic Jihad, the Finley Park Mosque in London or Hizbollah -- and it is inconceivable that only one of 10 Muslims supports any of these groups' ideologies -- that means a true believing enemy of at least 100 million people. Outside of Germany, how many people believed in Nazism? Outside of Japan, who believed in Japanese imperialism and militarism? And outside of universities, the arts world or Hollywood, how many people believed in Soviet-style totalitarianism?
A far larger number of people believe in Islamic authoritarianism than ever believed in Marxism. Virtually no one living in Marxist countries believed in Marxism or communism. Likewise, far fewer people believed in Nazism, an ideology confined largely to one country for less than one generation. This is one enormous difference between the radical Islamic threat to our civilization and the two previous ones.
But there is yet a second difference that is at least as significant and at least as frightening: Nazis and Communists wanted to live and feared death; Islamic authoritarians love death and loathe life.
That is why MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) worked with the Soviet Union.
Communist leaders love life -- they loved their money, their power, their dachas, their mistresses, their fine wines -- and were hardly prepared to give all that up for Marx. But Iran's current leaders celebrate dying, and MAD may not work, because from our perspective, they are indeed mad. MAD only works with the sane.
There is much less you can do against people who value dying more than living.
The existence of an unprecedentedly large number of people wishing to destroy decent civilization as we know it -- and who celebrate their own deaths -- poses a threat the likes of which no civilization in history has had to confront.
The evils committed by Nazism and Communism were, of course, greater than those committed by radical Islam. There has been no Muslim Gulag and no Muslim Auschwitz.
But the threat is far more serious.
Dennis Prager is a radio talk show host, author, and contributing columnist for Townhall.com.
Copyright (c) 2006 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
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